FTC investigates allegations of deceptive pricing tactics by Amazon

When a company like Amazon buys a company like Whole Food, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) takes a look at a lot of other things than just the business deal at hand.  Reuters reports that the FTC is looking into allegations of misleading price tactics used by Amazon. The investigation comes on the heels of … Continue reading FTC investigates allegations of deceptive pricing tactics by Amazon

93% of sponsored celebrity posts aren’t FTC complaint

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced it was cracking down on improperly-labeled native advertising and disclosures on paid social media posts.  In April, the FTC sent out more than 90 letters reminding influencers and marketers that influencers should clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media. The FTC’s Endorsement Guides provide … Continue reading 93% of sponsored celebrity posts aren’t FTC complaint

When the majority of people tell me that doing something will negatively impact my brand, I take it seriously

When my son was very young, he was watching television one day and noticed one of the characters was drinking a “cola.”  That’s what it said on the can.  He asked me if that was Coca Cola and we talked about how they often substituted generic products so they didn’t give free publicity to companies. … Continue reading When the majority of people tell me that doing something will negatively impact my brand, I take it seriously

FTC cracks down on Zombie Cookies that track your online behavior even after you opt-out

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a settlement with Turn over its use of Supercookies (also called Zombie Cookies). The FTC has accused Turn of deception by tracking consumers for ads even after people tried to opt out.  While not admitting any wrongdoing, the settlement will prohibit Turn from misrepresenting what it does in gathering … Continue reading FTC cracks down on Zombie Cookies that track your online behavior even after you opt-out

Is your TV set gathering and sharing your habits?

I knew my “Smart TV” was a little different when I got my first one and discovered that just like a computer, it might sometimes reboot for no particular reason. I certainly never thought it was listening to me and sharing what I said. Things certainly have changed now the TV’s are connected to the … Continue reading Is your TV set gathering and sharing your habits?

Are legitimate news websites spreading fake news with widgets?

Will Google start penalizing publishers for using Taboola or Outbrain?  Should they? You may not know the names “Taboola” or “Outbrain” but you’ve no doubt seen their work.  These are two of the digital industry’s aggregators that typically mix paid sponsorships, native ads,  and click bait articles into a widget that gets posted at the … Continue reading Are legitimate news websites spreading fake news with widgets?

Celebrities, athletes, influencers under fire for deceptive social media ads

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is starting to look more closely at what’s being advertised in social media and how.  In December, the FTC put out a new policy statement for enforcement.  It said, in part, that it needs to be obvious to consumers when social media posts, or ads are paid for.  They suggest … Continue reading Celebrities, athletes, influencers under fire for deceptive social media ads

Digital ad market could be 2nd largest revenue source for organized crime

Two congressman have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate online ad fraud. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) are behind the effort. Both are members of the Senate Banking Committee. While recognizing the online advertising industry’s efforts to get rid of ad fraud, the letter to the FTC questions … Continue reading Digital ad market could be 2nd largest revenue source for organized crime

Publishers file FTC complaint against Ad Blockers “deceptive practices”

Ad blocking is a growing trend and, while publishers HATE it, they accept it for the most part. But when ad blockers go too far — like substituting their own ads — or whitelisting your site only if you pay them, then the trouble starts. The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) filed a Complaint and Request for Investigation with … Continue reading Publishers file FTC complaint against Ad Blockers “deceptive practices”